As of September 24, India’s Mukesh Ambani (in photo), who took over his father’s oil company Reliance Industries, was tagged as the richest among six Asians.
By Tracy Cabrera
THE top six richest people from Asia in Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index are collectively worth more than $300 billion.
As of September 24, India’s Mukesh Ambani, who took over his father’s oil company Reliance Industries, was tagged as the richest among six Asians, including China’s newly crowned titleholder (per Forbes magazine) Zhong Shanshan, founder and chairman of the water bottle company Nongfu Spring.
Of the six billionaires occupying the top ranks, five are self-made, like Jack Ma, who founded China’s largest e-commerce company, the Alibaba Group, and who still considers himself as Asia’s richest man.
Mukesh Ambani’s networth is pegged at US$85.2 billion and at age 63, he is the eight richest people on the planet. He inherited Reliance Industries when his father, the company’s founder, died in 2002, and he became its chairman while owning 42 percent of the oil and gas firm, per his Bloomberg Billionaires profile.
Ambani also founded the 4G phone service known as Jio and own the professional cricket team Mumbai Indians.
Following Ambani is the founder and chairman of the bottled water company Nongfu Spring, Zhong Shanshan, whose networth is US$58.7 billion. A year older than Ambani, Shanshan’s company went public in Hong Kong on September 8 the current year with its stocks shooting up to 77 percent, making the self-made billionaire the richest person in China and 17th in the world—ahead of Alibaba’s Jack Ma.
On top of owning 84 percent of Nongfu Spring, Shanshan also has a controlling stake in Wantai Biological Pharmacy that is now working on a coronavirus cure, per data from Commercial News and Business Channel (CNBC).
Close at third is self-proclaimed Asia’s richest Jack Ma, who is executive chairman of the Alibaba Group with a networth of US$56.7. He actually co-founded the e-commerce company, which runs the online shopping site known as Taobao. Ma served as the firm’s executive chairman until he stepped down last year. Ma also has stakes in two Chinese entertainment industry companies and an online payment service.
A former English teacher, Ma has recently been in global news because of his widespread donations to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, per British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report.
At fourth place, Pon Ma Huateng has a networth reaching US$51.7 billion. Also known as Ma Huateng, the 48-year-old billionaire serves as chairman and chief-executive-officer of tech company Tencent Holdings, which he co-founded alongside with another billionaire, Zhang Zhidong, who is number 12 in Bloomberg’s list of Asia’s richest persons. Ma Huateng’s firm is best known for its instant messaging app WeChat, which has more than one billion users.
Fifth place goes to Li Ka-Shing who founded CK Hutchinson Holdings and has a networth of US$32.3 billion. Li is the wealthiest person in Hong Kong with his vast business empire that has interests in primary retail services. In addition, Li founded another investment holding company, CK Asset Holdings, which is geared towards real estate services.
Li ran both companies until May 2018, when his son, Victor, took over as chairman, as per Bloomberg Billionaire profile. CK Hutchinson made US$38 billion last year.
Finally in sixth place is Japanese businessman Tadashi Yanai, whose networth has been placed at US$31.6 billion. The self-made Yanai is the richest person in Japan and he runs Uniqlo’s parent firm Fast Retailing. He is also the founder of and biggest shareholder of the clothing retailer which happens to be Asia’s largest with about a thousand stores operational, based on data from Bloomberg Billionaire Profile. An avid golfer, Yanai also owns a couple of golf courses in Maui, Hawaii.